IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WZMQ) – On Saturday, November 11, the John Fornetti Dental Center is set to host its ninth annual ‘Dentistry for Our Vets Program.’ The event aims to offer veterans a choice of dental services, including cleanings, fillings, or extractions, all at no cost to the veterans. The program, inspired by ‘Dentistry from the Heart,’ is set to run from 8 AM to 1 PM, Central Time, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Dr. John Fornetti himself stated, “We’re going to follow pretty much the same format that we’ve used in the past, and this is something that we’ve patterned after ‘Dentistry from the Heart,’ which we’ve held every February, so it’s going to be on a first-come, first-serve basis. So we’re asking people to dress warmly because we may be converting our parking lot to a reception area.”
The event is not only a demonstration of efficient dental care, but also a statement of the community’s support. “We have a number of volunteers that are going to help us with this thing. We’re going to see, and try to help as many veterans as we can,” Dr. Fornetti explained. The event has its roots in the alarming statistic that only 9% of veterans qualify for dental benefits, prompting the dental center to take action, and give back to those who had given so much for the country. “It was alarming to all of us to learn that, and we knew we couldn’t change the laws, but we could change our little part of the world here in the Upper Peninsula, and so we decided why don’t we do a ‘dentistry from our heart’ event for just our Veterans, and let’s do it on or near Veterans Day,” expressed Dr. Fornetti.
Dr. Fornetti continued, “We’re probably going to be in the neighborhood of seeing about 100 of our veterans, and we’ll be geared up for that. There are so many people that want to help do something good, and I think everyone has a soft spot for our veterans, as we should. So, this is really an honor to be able to give back to our veterans, who gave so much for us, no matter what line of service, whether they went overseas, whether they went on tours, and no matter what they did. If they stayed stateside, it does not matter, just come. We really want to help you.”
The heartwarming event is made possible by the generous support of volunteers, and the community. Dr. Fornetti estimated, “We’ll probably have somewhere between 40 and 50 volunteers, people that are coming to do parts of this. A lot of what happens is people volunteer and bring food. We don’t want people to be hungry, so people actually bake for us. Sometimes not the healthy stuff, but really good stuff. Even our restaurants and things participate; they’ll come over with large kettles of chili and soups because it’s going to be cold out. The community just wraps their arms around this.”
The community’s support is backed by local businesses as well. Dr. Fornetti added, “In the past, B’s Café has always been very good to us. All the local coffee houses have participated in this, and even Walmart contributes cards to use so that we can go buy supplies and things.”
As the John Fornetti Dental Center prepares to open its doors, the promise of dental care and community support is set to warm the hearts of veterans in the Upper Peninsula on this special Veterans Day.
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